Students' Lived Experience of Online Learning during the COVID-19 Disease: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shahid Beheshti University

2 shahid beheshti university


Interpretative phenomenological analysis is an approach offering insights into how participants make sense of their individuality and their social world and what specific events and experiences mean to them. Accordingly, researchers in the present study analyzed university students’ lived experience of virtual learning during the Coronavirus pandemic. For this purpose, 27 undergraduate and graduate students of Shahid Beheshti University were selected up to data saturation point and data were collected through online in-depth semi-structured individual interviews. After recording and rewriting the interviews, the available data were analyzed by the application of Colaizzi’s method. Three major themes were extracted from the analysis, including the feeling of adequacy and competence, autonomy and self-direction, and relatedness. In addition, based on the results, subthemes of the aforementioned major themes were as follows: task types, participation, evaluation, social support, time, causal attributions, self-efficacy beliefs, mental sets, emotions, and teacher ethics components. In general, the findings, in line with the principles of self-determination theory, showed that although facing some limitations is inevitable in the context of virtual learning, to the university students, facilitating the necessary conditions for them to meet their basic psychological needs plays an important role. Practical implications of this study were discussed by emphasizing the need to develop incentive and supportive teaching styles in response to students' psychological needs.


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